Blog: My Unusual Road of Life....
by kerminator

Northern Lights in Iceland

** I enjoyed my time in Iceland and would recommend the trip to anyone! The country is clean, 80% Christian and has a very low crime rate - with intelligence and healthy people who seem to care! **

Date:   12/13/2018 3:52:25 AM   ( 24 mon ) ... viewed 614 times

** Northern Lights in Iceland

Went to the Reykjavik Peninsula in Dec 1987; found Iceland a great place to visit and enjoy. stayed in a hotel - started up and taught operational maintenance of electronic equipment at a Navy site and ate at the USAF " Northern Lights " Dining facility!

What are the best months or the best time of year to see the Northern Lights in Iceland?{or many points in the far North}
The Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis appear, on a regular basis, in Iceland from the middle of August through to the middle of April.

Any time outside these months, the Northern Lights do not appear, as the nights are short and daylight dominates the sky.

During the fall and winter months, the Aurora Borealis can appear almost everywhere in the country if the strength or the Aurora level is right and the skies are clear. Therefore, to see the Northern Lights. Autumn and Winter are the best seasons for seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland.

Visit Iceland between September – April, avoiding a full moon.
Wait for total darkness to fall with clear skies.
Location scout for nearby viewing places away from city light pollution.
Set up aurora strength KP index alerts.

Be ready to aurora hunt at a moments notice!
Kleifarvatn lake is a popular destination and attraction
Kleifarvatn is the largest lake on the Reykjavik Peninsula. It is situated on the fissure zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge a short distance from the dramatic geothermal area of Seltún.

The lake is incredibly deep, 97 meters (318 feet) at its deepest point. But, its unique feature is that it has no visible surface drainage, which means there are no rivers running to or from it. Thus, the water level only changes with the groundwater. Following an earthquake in the year 2000, a fissure formed at the bottom of the lake that soon began to drain. It diminished by 20 percent. Gradually though, the fissure refilled, and the lake has returned to its previous levels.

Today, the Kleifarvatn area is gradually becoming a popular destination for hikers, joggers and bird watchers. Surrounding the lake is a comfortable trail where you can enjoy the dramatic and ever-changing landscape. The lake itself attracts the local anglers who like to fish for trout in the tranquil, colorful area. Kleifarvatn lake and the area around the lake is also a great place to view the Northern Lights.

Often, the time between 21:00 {9:00 p.m]. and 24:00 {12:00 Midnight} is the best and most interesting.
If the conditions are right, you are almost certain to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights or even better, you will get to see a spectacular show in the sky within that period. If you have time and if you are traveling to Iceland only to see the Northern Lights, it is usually a good idea to hang out and see if the show continues until 03:00 (3:00 a.m.)

About the image
The image above is just a guide and it should be used as such. Nothing is definite with the aurora, (or the kp number system for that matter). We are still in our infancy of aurora predictions, and it will be a long time before we are able to predict them to be on your doorstep. There are only a couple of satellites up there monitoring the solar wind, and only one main one that we get most of our data from. Until we get more satellites up there, and more advanced satellites at that, aurora predictions and the kp scale will be the best system we’ve got.

The lines on the image are where aurora should be visible from, they do not mean the aurora will be directly overhead. It might be very low down on the Northern Horizon. It all depends on how the aurora is behaving on that particular night.

Viewing auroras
For best chances you should find a place with un-obscured views North and away from light pollution. Unless you are very far north, the auroras won’t be overhead like they are in pictures, they will likely be on the northern horizon, so for maximum chances of seeing it, you should find a hill, wide open field, beach etc so you can see the northern horizon.

Try to adapt your eyes to the dark, this will help you see it better. Don’t look at bright things or use a white torch/flashlight, use a red LED headlamp (it seems too dark at first but once your eyes get properly adapted to the dark the red light is enough to see where your walking). Whatever you do, don’t look at a bright phone/table screen it will ruin your night vision you have just taken to long to get good (can take up to 30-60 mins to get your eyes properly dark adapted).

So, if the forecast is right and you don’t see the Northern Lights in the evening, it is quite likely that you will not see them after midnight.

I enjoyed my time in Iceland and would recommend the trip to anyone! The country is clean, 80% Christian and has a very low crime rate - with intelligence and healthy people who seem to care! Transportation is mainly by private auto {I had a rental car} with some bus routes available, the hotels are clean, simple and quite - not rambunctious as many in the western world today! Go if you can!

PS: Iceland is really a Greenland - while Greenland is actually an Iceland!

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